MSOP October 2021 Meeting Minutes

AFSCME MSOP Labor Management

October 14, 2021

Human Resources Room/Conference



Attendance: Adam Castle, Jamie Schwartz, Steve Wilking, Eric Hesse, Ryan Cates, Paul Rodriguez, Bonnie Wold, Alli Kuhlman, Michelle Breamer, Tim Lokensgard, Scott Halverson, Chris Hagen, Troy Sherwood, Nicole Boder




  1. 1.      COVID Hospital Coverage/Sitting in Room with client/Exceptions on Covering: Eric-If client is in hospital and positive for COVID, are we allowing staff to sit in hallway to not be close to the COVID? Nicole-If they aren’t wearing N95 its high risk. Bonnie-Post order hasn’t changed. It says staff can sit in the hallway. Eric-If there is coverage with a covid client and the staff has an issue like a pregnancy, procedure, etc.? Bonnie-Staff need to be proactive in advance to work with the supervisor and/or HR. It puts the program in a bind. As soon as you know something like this, please let your supervisor know. Alli-Yes, if a staff has reasons to not work in those conditions, contact leave management first to see what options we have available. Eric-A client in the hospital has been difficult with staff. We are covering with one staff. Why? Tim-I was on call that night he became upset. I sent two staff at that time and he was placed in restraints. When we started, he was out of it and uses a walker. It’s a case-by-case situation that we assess the level of security and his ability to maneuver. What restraints we can use plays into it. Eric-what is the trigger point if he is getting amped and has to call hospital security or OD show up? Shouldn’t it always be two staff if these are the behaviors. Nick-A physical impairment doesn’t mean the client can’t be out of control. Tim-We can look at it again but there isn’t a set trigger point where we say two. I called for two the next day and we will assess his level of compliance is. Nick-This client has a history of being unpredictable. Jamie-He used his walked as a weapon on 1 east. Nick-he seems to still manage. I hope he is at two now. Eric-We always advocate for two staff for safety and responsibility of the facility. Especially in Rochester due to being tired and driving after being alone at the hospital, bored.
  2. 2.      High Risk Exposure/Get a Phone Call Saying Stay Home: Eric-It has been happening where they are told to come back to work after being given a high-risk notice to stay home. Nicole-High risk exposures are to stay home. If the staff had covid within in 90 days, they can come in. The risk team may not have all of that information right away. Alli-There was one person that reported it and then he reported he had covid within 90 days. Nick-Is management aware of the letters coming out, they were dismissive earlier on. Nicole-we can bring it back up. Bonnie-We met yesterday with Alli about all of the variables, with supervisors. When you get the letter, you need to disclose that information to your supervisor because it could change the situation. Eric-Do I stay home until I can show proof even with the letter? Alli-We hope to clean up issues as they come. The shift in the process has been where supervisors are more involved in the decisions. We understand staff are confused and we had a meeting yesterday to hopefully clear that up. Nick-I just want to make sure people have answers for staff. Eric-People being told to stay home due to high risk. Do they not have to use their own accruals for the time you are gone? Alli-You would use your sick hours first. Then there is MSL to not lose out on pay. Ryan-An exposure in the workplace and then has to use their own accruals is same as being injured at work. Why is it not worker’s comp? Alli-This is based on OSHA guidelines. If they test positive in the workplace that goes to workers comp. Eric-It’s meant for you or family because they are sick, so you are saying you have to use your sick leave and then place them in danger of not having sick time if something happens. Ryan-Osha guidelines doesn’t make it contractual use for sick time. It just isn’t in the contract. Alli-I can take this back. We have just been going by OSHA. I don’t know if we have the ability. MMB would have to review. I can bring this to leadership. Eric-Forcing to use accruals. After 10 days they run out and become symptomatic, they have no sick accruals. You will run into people coming in when they are sick. Alli-We need to look at this on case-by-case basis and this is also covered by OSHA. You could take MSL to not miss out on leave. Nick-They might not know that or just don’t want to mess around with it. It would be better to not have to use sick time for exposure at work.
  3. 3.      Quarantined Unit Staffing: Eric-Memo from DCT that anytime staff go on to quarantined unit they must be N95 tested. Then there was a change that only 1 staff has to be. Why? Nicole-The emphasis is due to face-to-face contact with clients. If you have face to face you are to be in N95 or mask with face shield. You can have someone on unit. Face to face contact. Any contact with a client on quarantine unit that are talking to them face to face without a barrier. Bonnie-For 15 minutes, within 6 feet I believe was part of it. Nicole-within 6 feet of an individual is all they have as the definition. Tim-Once we figured out and heard the definition, we realized when we started, we didn’t have a lot of staff trained and we would go through them fast. So, we went to one to one. The one without a mask would enter during counts or when clients are in their rooms. Which should be often. Hopefully we get more N95 tested staff and can revisit that. Troy-That was also when we only had so many who had been tested and they were getting burnt out with coverage. We were trying to meet in the middle. That led us to looking for more staff to be fit tested. Eric-How many do we have tested? Chris-66 additional in 7 days. 70 percent fit tested SCs and SCLs. In perimeter we have 77 percent. We can use encouragement from labor for additional staff. CPS and first watch especially. Troy-We look at it every day with operations. We review it each day. Nick-And also trying to balance safety and staffing burnout.
  4. 4.      Change in Clients Being Out on Quarantined Units: Eric-It used to be only for a limited time for each client, now it’s a wing. Troy-We looked at what we had at that time. 1st floor of pexton was a challenge. We reviewed it with management and interventions we could do. It made sense to let out for 2 hours when considering the vaccination rate. It was the best we could do to manage behaviors. We came in to talk to unit staff as well. Nicole-This is still a household and the vaccination rate is there. How do we manage that and behaviors? Decision was to allow a two hour outside break to give them options. Eric-Defeats the purpose of quarantine? Nicole-Should only be on their units. Eric-Are they coming up to the units with people not tested? Nicole-There should be a barrier. Eric-What about the half door? Troy-We prompted to keep them closed and the staff on the unit should be the ones they talk to.
  5. 5.      N95 Fit Testing: Eric-Is MSOP going to require all staff be fit tested? Nicole-There is no discussion on that right now, but it may be down the road.
  6. 6.      PPE Supply and PPE on Quarantine Units: Bonnie-We met this morning. We had a 3-week supply on hand when we started. We now know the burn rates and we can stay ahead of it. We are okay right now. Nicole-The biggest shortage we know about is the fit testing solution. Chris-We are in good shape. Eric-What about the tests? Nicole-River’s Edge provides symptomatic clients’ tests, and they are allocated. We are thinking about having a back-up company to supplement that. Paul-CPS is tracking PPE as well. Eric-Supplies for quarantine units... Have we run out of pitchers, etc. bonnie-We didn’t anticipate these units going down. The distribution center is going out to try to get a lot of these supplies before the weekend to have enough for every unit. Eric-Mattresses as well? Bonnie-Yes. All of it. Eric-What level of PPE are we supplying? Nicole-Face to face with clients, should be fully garbed up and supplied for. Jamie-The problem is clients are in the bathroom but staff may be on the unit. Trying to get staff to tell them to wait for staff to get out of the way.
  7. 7.      Point Prevalence Testing for CPS: Eric-CPS aren’t eligible right now. Nicole-We don’t do that until we have 2 positives. We don’t have them right now. Eric-The staff are being asked to cross cover. Why aren’t we testing them. Nicole-For those in the facility all of the time working with the clients. Send me names. This is different as HR has provided a list of staff eligible to do the prevalence testing. We found that the staff that work with our clients every day. We allowed them to test as opposed to them that just want to be tested. There are resources out there for testing where you can even request at-home tests. Nick-Any plan to just test all of the clients? Nicole-Not yet, we can’t mandate that. Yesterday we had 182 and 6 that can’t test. We had a good turn out for clients yesterday. We are less than 50 percent of eligible staff. 78 tested yesterday. I don’t have info on who was not working that could have tested. Nick-Do staff know they are eligible? Nicole-Yes, there was a SharePoint announcement. If I didn’t have info on the staff, I did call unit to unit in st peter yesterday. Nick-If you are solely relying on a SharePoint announcement, many may not ever see it. Bonnie-We did overhead announcements as well.
  8. 8.      A-team Doing COVID Testing: Eric-Isn’t this a HIPPA violation? Nicole-There is no access to medical information. No one actually did the test just as staff do theirs. Just if you want to test. There is no record of information. Nick-Is there a right way to test? Nicole-Swab and a swirl. We talked them through it and they don’t touch the swab or anything. We gave them instructions. Eric-This duty is in the scope of our position? Nicole-The scope of anyone’s position. It doesn’t require health services. Eric-Is it good for staff to have our personal information? Nicole-It’s just your name, date of birth, and test number thats correlated on the vile. The rest comes to me for data entry. I don’t see an issue with this.
  9. 9.      Different Classifications Taking OT at Point of Inverse: Eric-Looking at the numbers this past month, people are getting burnt out. Would administration be interested in this after SCs decline the overtime? All AFSCME would go by seniority and then the other classifications would have the opportunity. Any relief would be appreciated. Bonnie-We are willing to take a look at that. Nick-There have been a few that have expressed interest recently. Bonnie-We can work with Alli to get it going.
  10. 10.  Contact Numbers for HR: Eric-Members have been sending emails to the drop box and don’t get a response. They would like to talk to an actual person if its necessary. People are frustrated by lack of response. Can we get contact numbers? Alli-There are a couple of different boxes. Kathy Barber is the leave contact there. Mine is actually on my email card. We don’t have the overall HR line anymore. Nick-There has been such a change that no one knows the names. After you get the new staff, maybe you could get the list together with numbers. Alli-Another announcement would be great. Eric-We talked about how emailing the drop box gives you a response automatically. Maybe we could get a representative’s name for who to follow up with. Alli-That sounds good.
  11. 11.  ETL Use/Whom to go to for follow up: Eric-There is confusion on who to follow up with. Alli-Staff is expected to maintain their leave accruals. If they are able to foresee they may have an issue, they will be working with leave coordinator. If they run into it unexpectedly, they can work with their supervisors. Eric-Can we get that communicated with the supervisors? Bonnie-Yes, we can remind them of that.
  12. 12.  HIMS-Eric-Possibility of being changed from non-contact to incidental Bonnie-for training purposes on their plan. If they have incidental contact with clients, they have this other training. Some have more contact than others. We are working on that now. Training purposes only. Paul-that’s how it looked to me. If they need Verbal influence and control tactics, etc. Bonnie-Have them go talk to their supervisor.

Follow Up Items

  1. 1.      OT Numbers Operations: 1st Watch 74 staff for 279.45 hours. 2nd watch 54 staff for 186.5 hours. 3rd watch 52 staff for 178.83 hours. Total Inverse 644.78 hours. Total OT 1932.23 hours.
  2. 2.      Health Services: From Sept 1 to 28. We had 87 hours, 0 inverses.
  3. 3.      Health Services Staffing: Nicole-October 27 we split with cps and st peter. 4 afscme positions open. Process of changing 2 to RNs due to lack of interest in the LPN positions. We have had 0 interest in the positions. There are some budgetary concerns we are working with. August sept October. 2,3,2 are the numbers for recruitment in NEO. Completed RN supervisor interviews and hopefully get something. Lab transition happened this week as well. We share the FTE with them, which helps.
  4. 4.      Lead Leveling Process Update: Alli-Meeting for next Tuesday to finalize logistics. Anticipate meeting with labor next week also to finalize and implement it November 1st. Eric-Were our concerns about leveling system addressed? Alli-Denise did take a look at that and they are looking at that.
  5. 5.      Time Book Training: Alli-Denise is taking the lead on this and she was off all last month. Work with your supervisor if you have questions right now. We did hire a couple of HR staff so hopefully that helps.

Management Agenda Items

  1. 1.      Update on CPS: Paul-GAN carpet is being laid, tile, it looks pretty good. Estimate is mid to end of December. There were some dead bids so staffing affects that. Bartlett expansion down the road but couldn’t even tell you when. Looking at staffing we would need. Looking at budget, staffing, etc. Eric-We only have one more hiring class until then. Will we hire enough to backfill those staff who left? Paul-We are posting as fast as we can. Nick-A lot of positions are FMHP transfers. Tim-We are posting to fill those. We had a full hiring pool. We are transferring some out there. we are working at it and trying different things. Hopefully our hiring picks up and more people apply. Bonnie-Thanks everyone for working together with everything that has been happening. Staff are doing a great job managing this and we can work together proactively.

Adjourned at 110 PM